Bjork, Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell
Ms. Arnalds sings lilting melodies with lyrics that, while frequently in Icelandic, are written in the universal language of chill-the-heck-out. Too many artists in this genre confuse haunting for peaceful, a trap that Arnalds deftly sidesteps. There’s a powerful beauty in Arnalds’ work, and it’s as much the perfect accompaniment to the end of a stressful day as it is the start of a lakeside picnic.
An integral member of Mum since 2003, Arnalds has been making a name for herself as one of the premier solo artists in the Icelandic music scene. A classically trained singer and violinist, Olof Arnalds performs most of the instrumentation heard in her songs. Championed early on by Bjork, she first came to local prominence with the 2010 NPR Tiny Desk concert she shared with Davíð Þór Jónsson, and has since been a smash hit on the indie radio scene.